Project Esciurus

What is it?

Esciurus is (or rather, will be) a desktop application that allows you to build and maintain your personal collection of e-books, in particular scientific publications. It will store not only these papers, but also associated metadata (author, title, bibliographic information, etc.), allowing for fast and intuitive retrieval.

It handles e-books in the upcoming ".epub" format (OCF/OPF), as defined by the International Digital Publishing Forum.

The program is being developed in Java, it should therefore run on all major platforms.

Project status

The program is, in most of its parts, in an early design phase and far from being finished. There is currently no implementation of the GUI and no catalogue/indexing functionality.

On the other hand, the data model for .epub files (OCF/OPF format) is already functional, and the API is somewhat stable. Since it might be of use in other applications, I have released it in a first version. A sample console application is included that allows to generate Epub files.

Note, however, that the API may change at any time in future releases; compatibility is not guaranteed.

For recent news, see project news.


The project's infrastructure is hosted at; see the corresponding project page. Currently, the following infrastructure is in use:


You can download the latest release in the file download area. There are three files in each release:

The documentation package includes an Installation and Usage Guide. At this time, it is recommended that you read this guide first. The JAR file is not self-executable, and its usage is not evident without reading the instructions.


There is extensive documentation regarding those parts of the project which have reached a stable state yet. As mentioned above, you can download the latest documentation package in the file download area.


Esciurus is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). That means, in brief, that you can use it free of charge, and pass it to others free of charge. You are also allowed to modify the program, or use parts of its code in your own applications, as long as these go under the GPL too. However, you are not allowed to use the code of this program, or any parts of it, in closed-source applications.

Please also note that Esciurus comes with no warranty of any kind.

For details of the license conditions, see the documentation package.


For general questions and remarks, it is best to use the mailing list (described above). If you wish to contact me personally about the program, you can best send me a message via my SourceForge account.

Why the name?

Sciurus vulgaris, the Red Squirrel, collects food in hidden caches in order to prepare for the winter. This occurs to me to be a good metaphor for someone keeping his personal collection of electronic publications on his computer. This program, once finished, will hopefully help you to organize your e-books more efficiently, and prevent you from losing an important reference somewhere in the deep forest of your file system. (Rumour has it, however, that squirrels often have a hard time with the analogue.)

Oh, and since it's electronic, it needs an extra "e", right?

About the author

Please refer to my Wikipedia user page.

This project is hosted by Logo